Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Mutants: Episode Five 

The Marshal's premature use of Jaeger's experiment is threatening to destroy Solos' atmosphere and the Doctor returns to Skybase to try and correct the damage.

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Paul Whitsun-Jones ...
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Ky
Christopher Coll ...
Rick James ...
George Pravda ...
Jaeger
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Martin Taylor ...
Damon Sanders ...
John Scott Martin ...
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The Marshal's premature use of Jaeger's experiment is threatening to destroy Solos' atmosphere and the Doctor returns to Skybase to try and correct the damage.

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third doctor | dandy | See All (2) »


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6 May 1972 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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This episode takes place on Solos in the 30th Century. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Good, Bad and the Ugly
10 October 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review for all 6 episodes:

Similar in lots of ways to the previous season's Colony in Space this involves the Doctor again being sent on a mission to a human colony on an alien planet. This time the mission is to deliver a pod with unknown contents to someone on the planet. The recipient is unknown too but the pod will only open for the correct person. On arrival the Doctor is caught up in dispute and death with a megalomaniac human 'overlord' leading a campaign to gain control of the planet whilst the native people of the planet fight for independence. There are also mutants on the planet surface and dangerous gas increasingly making the atmosphere outside the base unbreathable. The similarity in story and style is also matched by its quality as both Colony in Space and this story have good first 3 episodes followed by less successful final 3 episodes.

One criticism levelled at this is that it seems pointless for the Time Lords to send The Doctor when they could surely just send the pod to its recipient but this is unfair because The Doctor clearly says later in the story that he has been sent for the purpose of helping to return the planet to its natural state and life cycle.

The main theme is very clearly based around imperialism with Earth's treatment of the native people compared to British rule in Africa, India etc. This is well written and thoughtful in its political ideas during the first three episodes. The script and story move along nicely for the first 3 episodes but fall apart a bit in episode 4 and 5 with some silliness taking over in the story and some poor scripting. There are also a few sub par performances throughout the story which reach their low point in the latter half of the adventure. Worst by far is the part of Cotton which is quite dreadfully acted. This is a very sad disappointment as this was a rare good leading role for a black actor on British TV in the 1970s but it was given to an actor who gives a lame and wooden delivery of every line. The story picks up a bit more quality again for the 6th and final episode.

On the plus side there is the good script early on and some good pacing and interesting political plot elements. Geoffrey Palmer is excellent in episode 1 and there are good performances from John Hollis (who appears later in the story) as well as Pertwee and Katy Manning in the lead roles. The planet itself and the mutants are well realised too. There is a lot of good in this production, particularly in episodes 1 and 3. There are some bad aspects, particularly in episodes 4 and 5. There is also the downright ugly performance in the role of Cotton but this is outweighed by some good performances in the rest of the cast. Overall an average story.


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